This Week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Comfort Food featuring this week’s Vegetable Bundle
As the weather gets colder it has many of us craving those warm and delicious “comfort foods”. So, this week’s colder weather has inspired me to share some Easy Comfort Food recipes featuring items from this week’s bundle.
What is comfort food?
It is described as food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature associated with childhood or home cooking. The nostalgia may be specific to an individual, or it may apply to a specific culture.
Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese
Created by: Good Food
What do you get if you add cauliflower, cheese and macaroni? Comfort food heaven
1 ½ cup (250g) macaroni
1 head cauliflower, broken into pieces
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP plain flour
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 cups milk
1 cup cheddar, grated
1. Cook the macaroni following pack instructions, adding the cauliflower for the final 4 mins.
2. Melt the butter in a pan, then stir in the flour and mustard powder and cook for 2 mins. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the time to get a smooth sauce. Add three-quarters of the cheese and some seasoning to the sauce.
3. Drain the macaroni and cauliflower and stir into the cheese sauce. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese and flash under a hot grill until golden and bubbling. Serve with a green salad, if you like.
Leek, Cheese & Potato Pasties
Created by: Good Food
Mini veggie pastry parcels with oozing cheese make a great value and comforting homemade snack.
2 small potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 TBSP of butter
2 small leeks, tough outer leaves removed, split in half lengthways and finely sliced
3 thyme sprigs, leaves chopped
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 TBSP cream flour, for dusting
500g block short crust pastry
½ cup strong cheddar cheese or vegetarian alternative, cut into small chunks
1 egg, beaten
1. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 5-8 mins until tender, but still holding their shape. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and thyme and soften for 10-12 mins. Drain potatoes and add to the leeks with the mustard and plenty of seasoning. Stir in the cream and leave to cool a little.
2. Heat oven to 180C. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to the thickness of a coin. Use a side plate or a bowl as a template to cut out 6 x 15cm circles. Mix the cheese with the leek mixture and pile a mound of the mix onto the centre of each pastry circle. Brush around edges with a little egg, then bring edges together and crimp with your fingers to seal.
3. Place pasties on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, brush with the remaining egg and bake for 40-45 mins until golden brown. Serve warm or leave to cool.
Created by: Caroline Hire
A Mediterranean one-pot stew with peppers, lentils, sweet smoked paprika and thyme. This veggie stew is perfect for cold winter nights.
1 TBSP olive oil, or grapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP dried thyme
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium celery sticks, finely sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2, 400g cans tomatoes, or peeled cherry tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 1 cup
2 zucchini sliced thickly
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup cooked green lentils
1. Heat the olive or grapeseed oil in a large, lidded, heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Lower the heat slightly then add the onion, cooking gently and stirring occasionally, for 5-10 mins until softened.
2. Stir in the garlic cloves, smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried thyme, carrots, celery sticks, red and yellow peppers, and cook for 5 mins.
3. Tip add in the tomatoes along with the vegetable stock, zucchini and thyme sprigs. Give it a good stir, cover, and cook for 20-25 mins.
4. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Stir in the cooked lentils and bring back to a simmer for 5 mins until warmed through. Serve with wild and white basmati rice, mash or quinoa.
Parsnip and Potato Mash
Created by: Tyler Florence
This creamy and flavorful parsnip and potato mash is a perfect side dish for any comforting meal.
4 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
2 lbs parsnips Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
2 TBSP chopped chives
1. Peel and cut the potatoes and parsnips into even sized pieces. Put them into a large pot, cover them with cold water, and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small pot gently heat the cream and butter over low heat. When the vegetables are done drain them well. Put the vegetables back into the pot over medium heat. Gently stir them to remove any excess moisture; be careful not to burn them.
3. While the potatoes and parsnips are still warm, press them through a potato ricer or food mill into a bowl. Add the warm cream a little at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until the potatoes are fluffy.
4. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir in the chives. Serve immediately.
Indian Sweet Potato & Dhal Pies
Created by: Sara Buenfeld
Spiced red lentil dhal is topped with creamy sweet potato mash in these individual vegetarian pies - a cheap & comforting weeknight dinner option.
3 ½ cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 carrots, scrubbed, halved and sliced lengthways
2 TBSP ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tsp oil
1 TBSP curry powder
1 vegetable stock cube
2 TBSP tomato purée
1 1/4cups red lentils
good handful coriander, chopped, plus sprigs to serve
generous spoonful 0% fat Greek-style yogurt broccoli, to serve (optional)
1. Place the sweet potato in a pan of boiling water and cook for 15 mins, or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and carrot, for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring for 1 min more. Tip in the curry powder, stir round the pan then add 750ml of the boiling water with the stock cube, tomato purée and lentils. Cover the pan and boil for 20 mins until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the chopped coriander.
3. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, drain and mash them with the yogurt and seasoning.
4. Spoon the lentil mix into one big or two individual dishes then top with the sweet potato mixture, scatter with the coriander and serve with broccoli, if you like.
Recipes are curated by Lauren
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